This Channel Still Exists? (The Script!)
Note: What follows here was the original script for our update video, which works better when you read it rather than me yammering on for 8 minutes!
We’re still here. But we chaaanged man. I know.
This channel started in 2006 which means we are now over a decade old.
The first video on this channel was a gameplay video that got millions of views. However, as we now know, the idea of a “gameplay videos” on YouTube was absurd and doomed to failure, so we immediately stopped doing that.
Then, in 2010, my friend Brandon and I started making shorts with action and visual effects. And this was where a lot of our audience found us – through the YouTube front page, or through the collabs we did, or even through the most influential and important link aggregator site of all time – Digg.com.
A couple years later, we started doing shows beginning with Video Game High School.
And that’s where things really started to click. And if you hated VGHS, that was when our channel started to suck nards!
But for me, this sort of thing – longer stories with characters, and plots – this is why I picked up a camera in the first place. I didn’t grow up watching vloggers or YouTube – I grew up renting movies from Blockbuster and watching movies in theaters – two activities still incredibly relevant to our lives to this day!
And while we loved making shorts, we loved telling stories like VGHS a whole lot more. And with each show we did, we challenged ourselves to do better – across three seasons of VGHS, across our two Hulu shows RocketJump: The Show and Dimension 404.
That hasn’t stopped – we’re working on our first feature film script, we’re working on the VGHS animated show, and a whole range of scripted and unscripted projects.
While that was happening, YouTube kept changing and rolling along as it’s always done. And while we were busy doing work off the channel, the RocketJump channel has sort of just… sat there. Now it’s not like we were doing nothing in this time period where our focus was split. We made some of, I think, our best work in this time – shorts like Mexican Standoff, where we collabed with Key and Peele, or Every 90s Commercial Ever, which was far and away the most freebooted video we’ve ever made, or my two personal favorite shorts Keep off the Grass and Tip Jar, and we also started the RocketJump Film School – an educational film school channel (RJFS).
But the pace of content has slowed.
Two reasons for that – one is that we’re busy working on all the other aspects of our careers as filmmakers. And the other side is that our passion isn’t in YouTube shorts anymore.
I think, passion is the only thing that a creator should care about. If you’re making videos that you’re not 100% passionate about, people will sniff that out and move on, because why watch someone who kinda cares when you can watch someone who totally cares. The world is full of people who totally care about what they’re making, whether it’s learning and showcasing primitive technology techniques, eating and reviewing old military MREs, or restoring toy cars (Primitive Technology guy, MRE guy, Hot Wheels dude). When I look at the channels I watch, they’re all people who are insanely into whatever thing they’re doing.
So here’s what I can tell you:
We’re not going to go back to consistent shorts. It’s just not what we want to focus on and with shows and movies, we don’t have the bandwidth. Does this mean there will never be shorts again? No – I mean, we are still filmmakers at our core, and love experimenting and picking up a camera and shooting things. There will be shorts, but they won’t be consistent.
In the BG, a screen starts flashing. Danny checks it, concerned… He picks up a phone. Freddie turns the corner.
We’re also probably not going to be putting our long form stuff on our channel for free – because you can’t get someone to pay to make a show and then give it away for free. I mean, yes, that’s obvious. If we could give everything away for free AND get that stuff paid for, we would do it in a heartbeat. But we can’t, so not everything we do is going to be on YouTube.
Does that mean this channel will be a lot less entertaining than it used to be? Absolutely. Significantly less entertaining. (subscribers start plummeting) But I’ll tell you – these last few years we’ve been so concerned with “well should we do something the subscribers like” or “maybe the subscribers won’t like this” that we lost sight of what I think is the most important question for a creator – what is it that you want to do? What are you truly passionate about.
In the BG Matt comes out looking at a laptop.
Matt: Danny! What the hell is going on?
Danny: I know! I see it too! We’re bleeding subs!
Matt: Where’s the LEAK?!
Freddie leads the camera around the corner into the Writer’s room. As he speaks, shadows run back and forth. Alarms blare in the BG.
Freddie: And what we want to do is make movies and TV shows, and to share that experience our audience. I think a lot of you out there really started watching our stuff because of our behind the scenes. That’s why we started RJFS, why we did RJTS, and why we have giganto BTS for all three seasons of VGHS.
So this whole year we’ve already pitched a number of projects that we’re really excited about. We’ve been locked in a room writing a feature-length action thriller. We’ve developed a video game adaptation that we will be pitching soon. We’ve made progress on the Video Game High School Animated show. And, for now, and for right here, that’s as specific as I can get about our projects, but in the months to come, you’ll learn more about those projects and all the things that we’re doing here at RocketJump.
Hollywood is a black box – and there’s really no direct line to people doing shows and movies. But we want to be transparent with you with all of our projects. So we’re putting together a Patreon with one goal – absolute radical, borderline irresponsible transparency. When we did VGHS we put out the budget of every season we worked on. We’re going to be getting back into that mindset and that attitude – one where we aren’t afraid or held back from sharing information that is usually hidden behind closed doors – budget details, all-day live streams of our sets as we shoot, even the pitches and early scripts for projects that we’re trying to get made.
With Danny and Matt. Will comes in.
Will: Guys… have you seen this…
Matt: We’re tracking it down. We’re bleeding subs
Will: No. This.
Will turns around a laptop. It’s the video. Freddie’s livestreaming the actual video we’re watching.
What’s going on Patreon, what’s going here, what the schedule is – all that still remains to be figured out. But we’re going to try and give you an honest look at exactly what our lives are like.
Will: He’s live. He’s doing an…. Update video…!
Matt: FIND HIM! FIND HIM NOW!
Freddie: The fact is, what I just described? It isn’t necessarily going to be interesting to everybody. I know some of you are here because you just want more gun action shorts, or another season of VGHS, or my eventual triumphant return to the world of pro rhythm gaming. I’m afraid that that’s not going to happen. And truly I’m thankful for everyone who’s watched through the years – it’s because of you that we got to do everything that we’ve done and that we continue to have that opportunity. But as a filmmaker, I have to go with what I’m passionate about.
So if the prospect of following the day-to-day operation of a small company of Internet yahoo’s in Hollywood trying to make a name for themselves in film and TV is just fundamentally not interesting to you – then it’s ok to unsubscribe. You’re not hurting anyone’s feelings – because things change, and it’s ok to move on.
WILL: Seven million subs! Some poor schmucks never even see seven digits!
MATT: He’s killing us. Danny! ETA on SWAT?
DANNY: They’re breaching!
SWAT blows through Freddie’s apartment. Jimmy is held at gunpoint.
SWAT: WHERE IS HE? WHERE IS YOUR BROTHER!?
JIMMY: YOU’LL NEVER TAKE THE WONGS ALIVE MOTHERF…
Jimmy spins around and unloads a gun as he is cut down in a hail of gunfire.
Back at HQ Matt clears an entire long desk of equipment and stuff in frustration.
MATT: SON OF A B…
WILL: We’re below one million dropping fast! Find him!
DANNY: It’s coming from inside the building! He’s on the wifi… triangulating…
WILL: Screw it! There’s no time Danny! Cut the feed!
Freddie: In the meantime, we launched a podcast called Story Break, where you can get some insight into our writer’s room as we try and break ridiculous story concepts. Subscribe on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts! And there’ll be much more to share in the coming months…
(Subscriber count hits 0)
Dark Void. Freddie awakes with a jolt.
Freddie: Wh… where am I? What is this place…?
Camera pulls out
Freddie: This is it… the void from whence I came…
Freddie sits in between a giant O.
Freddie: Zero. Null. Nothingness. This is it… this is what it’s like… to have zero subscribers. This is what it means… to be truly… free…
Pulls out further. It’s not a 0. It’s the ‘O’ in SELLOUT
Freddie: Aw what!? Come on!